November 24th, 2010
Posted By Seton Motley On November 23, 2010 @ 6:13 am
Just this past Friday, we warned you  that a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) December Internet power grab was probably coming.
Well, we now know that it is – and it may be even worse than we thought.
Details have been sketchy, and successive reports often contradictory, but what follows is what seems to be looming over us in December. (We will know for sure on Wednesday, November 24 – if the FCC maintains its current December 15 meeting date.)
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski appears to be preparing to dramatically increase the FCC’s regulatory role over the Internet (in TWO ways; more on that later).
He is doing so without the necessary Congressional authority – which he himself acknowledges  he doesn’t have. And he is doing so by torturing and twisting the regulatory language he is drafting – so as to keep this extraordinary dictatorial seizure within the current Title I confines.
The latter is for The Chairman merely an optical effort. If he can feign the appearance of remaining within Title I, he avoids Reclassification to Title II – against which many of us have long been rightly fighting. He will then portray his fealty to Title I as testament to the alleged “moderation” of his (un)modest proposal.
This will be a totally bogus assertion, but he will make it – and the media will inparrot-esque fashion repeat it. The Chairman should bring crackers to the press conference.
Free Press and the Media Marxists  – who have long cried  for Title II Reclassification – will on cue rail against The Chairman’s “sell-out.” This will further “bolster” his claim that he has found the magical, mystical Third Way – winding a path between the leftist Open Internet absolutists and the evil telecom companies.
The Chairman should also bring nuts to the press conference – in case Free Press & Co. show up.
(An aside: How are the telecom companies “evil” – when they have invested hundreds of dollars in building the Internet infrastructure? Which has resulted in the free speech, free market Web Xanadu we consumers all currently enjoy. Free Press and the Media Marxists haven’t invested a dime – yet they somehow successfully lay claim to the mantle of “consumer advocates.”)
Of course, this attempted sleight of regulatory hand does not get The Chairman past one glaring problem – the D.C. Circuit Court has already unanimously ruled  that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to regulate the Internet under Title I – at least as far as enforcing Network Neutrality is concerned. (Which is why Free Press & Co. have been clamoring for Title II Reclassification.)
And Net Neutrality is why The Chairman has engaged in – and forced us all to endure- this one year-plus kabuki dance. Testimonium – The Chairman now looks poised to have the FCC again attempt to enforce Net Neutrality – under his now stretched-beyond-all-recognition Title I. What a short, selective memory he has.
And most economically destructive of all – it appears The Chairman will try to impose Net Neutrality not just on wired broadband Internet service – but on wireless “smart phones” as well.
This would be a titanic overreach by The Chairman – and an immense blow to the economy. The uncertainty caused just by The Chairman’s prolonged flirtation with the Media Marxists and their ridiculous Internet notions has already cost us  billions of dollars in private sector Web investment.
The cost in investment dollars and jobs lost when Net Neutrality is actually imposed will be cataclysmic.
These aren’t the fake “saved or created” jobs of the alleged “stimulus” – these are very real jobs denied or destroyed by the ridiculous and ridiculously damaging Net Neutrality. Imposed by an FCC and its Chairman who know in advance that they do not have the authority to do so.
What will follow will be years of litigation forced upon us by The Chairman – to undo what he knew beforehand he didn’t have the authority to do.
What will follow will be years of diminished and diminishing Web capacity, caused by an absurd policy wrongfully jammed down our throats by a dictatorial, rogue Executive Branch Commission.
What will follow will be years of stagnant or declining job growth, as investment capital rightly flees a regulation-constricted Internet which is no longer amenable to free market success.
What will follow this essay may very well determine the free market, free speech future of the Internet – are you ready to place some calls and send some emails and faxes to protest this preposterous policy proposal and demand that it never be enacted?
Stay tuned – we will soon tell you how you can be a part of the preventative solution.
Article printed from Big Government: http://biggovernment.com
URLs in this post:
 he himself acknowledges: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/02/AR2010100200534.html
 Free Press and the Media Marxists: http://mediafreedom.org/
 have long cried: http://www.freepress.net/files/Restoring_FCC_Authority_to_Make_Broadband_Policy.pdf
 has already unanimously ruled: http://www.zeropaid.com/news/88573/comcast-prevails-in-bittorrent-throttling-case/
 has already cost us: http://www.phoenix-center.org/PolicyBulletin/PCPB25Final.pdf
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November 24th, 2010
What about buses?....oh! Silly me....
This story and its headline have been clarified to show that the Department of Homeland Security has not indicated it plans to use body scanners to tighten security at transportation sites beyond airports.
The next step in tightened security could be on U.S. public transportation, trains and boats.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for U.S. vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary.
“[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,” Napolitano said in an interview that aired Monday night on "Charlie Rose."
“I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime. So, what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there?”Napolitano’s comments, made a day before one of the nation’s busiest travel days, come in the wake of a public outcry over newly implemented airport screening measures that have been criticized for being too invasive.
The secretary has defended the new screening methods, which include advanced imaging systems and pat-downs, as necessary to stopping terrorists. During the interview with Rose, Napolitano said her agency is now looking into ways to make other popular means of travel safer for passengers and commuters.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, introduced legislation this past September that would authorize testing of body scanners at some federal buildings.
Napolitano’s comments were in response to the question: “What will they [terrorists] be thinking in the future?” She gave no details about how soon the public could see changes in security or about what additional safety measures the DHS was entertaining.
The recently implemented airport screening methods have made John Pistole, who heads the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the focus of growing public ire.
On Monday, Pistole said he understood peoples’ privacy concerns and that the TSA would consider modifying its screening policies to make them “as minimally invasive as possible,” but he indicated the advanced-imaging body scans and pat-down methods would remain in place in the short term, including during the high-volume Thanksgiving period of travel.
Lawmakers from both parties have received hundreds of complaints about the new methods — some have likened the pat-downs to groping — and have called on Pistole to address the privacy concerns of their constituents, who were not informed about changes ahead of time.
Many lawmakers say the public should have been informed before the pat-downs and body-imaging techniques were put into practice. As a result, any move to implement new security screening measures for rail or water passengers is likely to be met with tough levels of scrutiny from lawmakers.
Pistole, who spent 26 years with the FBI, told reporters Monday that he rejected the advice of media aides who advised him to publicize the revised security measures before they took effect. Terrorist groups have been known to study the TSA’s screening methods in an attempt to circumvent them, he said.
Napolitano said she hoped the U.S. could get to a place in the future where Americans would not have to be as guarded against terrorist attacks as they are and that she was actively promoting research into the psychology of how a terrorist becomes radicalized.
“The long-term [question] is, how do we get out of this having to have an ever-increasing security apparatus because of terrorists and a terrorist attack?” she said. “I think having a better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful."
DHS and intelligence officials are not as far along in understanding that process as they would like, Napolitano said, adding that until that goal is reached, steps need to be put in place to ensure the public’s safety.
“We don’t know much,” she said. “If you were to try and devise a template about what connects this terrorist to this terrorist and how they were raised and what schools they went to and their socioeconomic status, or this or that, it’s all over the map.
“I think there’s some important work that’s being done on that but … the Secretary of Homeland Security cannot wait for that.”
November 24th, 2010
By Roland S. Martin, CNN Senior Political Contributor
(CNN) -- It's clear that we can't go 24 hours without Sarah Palin saying something so stupid that it defies logic, but leave it to the Kim Kardashian of politics to find something wrong with first lady Michelle Obama's effort to curb obesity in America's kids.
In a radio interview on Wednesday with conservative talker Laura Ingraham, Palin took dead aim at the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative, which is all about getting children active and involved in exercise and healthy eating.
In the wacky world of Wasilla's finest, Palin tries to cast the effort to fight obesity as part of Michelle Obama's "different worldview."
Here is a portion of the transcript from HuffingtonPost.com: "Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat.
"And I know I'm going to be again criticized for bringing this up, but instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track."
Hmmm. "Let's Move" is Obama's "kick?" Maybe someone should kick Sarah Palin so she can understand how devastating obesity is to the future of the United States.
According to the first lady's "Let's Move" website:
• Obesity rates among children have tripled in the last three decades, and one in three children are obese.
• One-third of all children born after 2000 will suffer from diabetes.
• Children are less active today than at any other time in American history, spending 7.5 hours a day watching TV, playing video games or simply involved in efforts that don't require movement.
• Obesity is contributing to the vast increase in hypertension among Americans.
Now, since Palin is always talking about our nation's military and how we have to honor them and show them love and affection, let's listen to what a group of generals said a few months ago about obesity and America's national defense.
A study released in April by Mission: Readiness, a nonprofit group of more than 150 retired generals and admirals, concluded that 27 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are too fat to join the military.
The culprit? Junk food and too much fat in school lunches.
Said the study: "Today, otherwise excellent recruiting prospects, some of them with generations of sterling military service in their family history, are being turned away because they are just too overweight. Our standards are high because we clearly cannot have people in our command who are not up to the job. Too many lives depend on it."
In testimony before Congress, the former head of the California Army National Guard, retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Paul Monroe, said that "80 percent of children who were overweight between the ages of 10 to 15 were obese by age 25."
He and other military leaders want Congress to enact a massive child nutrition bill to remove all junk food and high-calorie beverages from schools, improve nutrition standards in schools, upgrade school menus and, the group said, "help develop new school-based strategies, based on research, that help parents and children adopt healthier lifelong eating and exercise habits."
Monroe testified: "In 1946, Congress passed the National School Lunch Act as a matter of national security. In the past, retired admirals and generals have stood up to make it clear that America is only as healthy as our nation's children. Childhood obesity is now undermining our national security and we need to start turning it around today."
So, Sarah Palin, are you going to also rip into this decorated American and say that he and 150 other military leaders are dead wrong?
I recently sat down with Michelle Obama for a prime time special on TV One cable network dedicated to her "Let's Move" initiative. It was startling to listen to her talk about the horrible statistics and the shape we'll be in in the future, figuratively and literally.
"The crisis that we're facing around childhood obesity hits everything," Obama said. "It's about education, what our kids are learning about nutrition in the schools, the quality of the food in the schools. It's about our neighborhood development. How are neighborhoods designed?
"Are our kids -- do they have access to safe places to play? Are we structuring communities in a way that facilitates healthy living? Are there accessible and affordable healthy foods in our communities? And it's about economic opportunity as well, because if folks can't afford to put food on the table, then they're eating what they can.
"So this is one of those issues that requires us to talk about a little bit of everything. And it makes us look at ourselves a little more closely and it makes us look at the broader society. So we're beginning to understand this is a threat."
This latest broadside by Palin shows how reckless and ridiculous she is.
Libertarians and far right conservative Republicans are always talking about government intrusion into our lives, but when we look at clean water, air quality and food supply, thank God for governmental standards.
Don't think for a second I'm not paying attention. I've increased my health awareness, am changing my diet and working out more to lose weight, and am pushing family members to do the same. That's really the whole point of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move."
Any Republican with common sense should see that Sarah Palin poses an immediate threat to the future of this country. She proves that every time she opens her mouth.
Sarah, for the benefit of the nation, stick a fork in it.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roland Martin.
November 24th, 2010
Former Democratic Governor Mike Easley From North Carolina, also got hammered for misusing political funds and favors after a two year investigation that cost millions. He got a $ 1,000 fine...
AUSTIN, Texas — The heavy-handed style that made Tom DeLay one of the nation's most powerful and feared members of Congress also proved to be his downfall Wednesday when a jury determined he went too far in trying to influence elections, convicting the former House majority leader on two felonies that could send him to prison for decades.
Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge, although prosecutors haven't yet recommended a sentence.
After the verdicts were read, DeLay hugged his daughter, Danielle, and his wife, Christine. DeLay whispered into his daughter's ear that he couldn't get a fair trial in Austin. DeLay had unsuccessfully tried to get the trial moved out of Austin, the most liberal city in one of the most Republican states
DeLay's lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said they planned to appeal the verdict.
"This is an abuse of power. It's a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am innocent. The criminalization of politics undermines our very system and I'm very disappointed in the outcome," DeLay told reporters outside the courtroom.
He remains free on bond, and several witnesses were expected to be called during the punishment phase of his trial, tentatively scheduled to begin on Dec. 20.
Prosecutors said DeLay, who once held the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives and whose tough tactics earned him the nickname "the Hammer," used his political action committee to illegally channel $190,000 in corporate donations into 2002 Texas legislative races through a money swap.
DeLay and his attorneys maintained the former Houston-area congressman did nothing wrong as no corporate funds went to Texas candidates and the money swap was legal.
The verdict came after a three-week trial in which prosecutors presented more than 30 witnesses and volumes of e-mails and other documents. DeLay's attorneys presented five witnesses.
"This case is a message from the citizens of the state of Texas that the public officials they elect to represent them must do so honestly and ethically, and if not, they'll be held accountable," Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said after the verdict.
Lehmberg said prosecutors will decide in the next few weeks what sentence they will recommend in the case to Senior Judge Pat Priest.
DeLay chose Priest to sentence him rather than the jury. He faces five years to life in prison on the money laundering charge and two to 20 years on the conspiracy charge. He also would be eligible for probation.
Jurors, who left the courthouse right after the verdict was read, declined to comment to reporters, only saying that it had been a tough decision for them to make.
The jury had sent numerous notes to Priest during its deliberations, which began on Monday. Many of the notes asked various legal questions that at one point had prompted the judge to say the panel wasn't on the right track. But at the end of Tuesday, jurors had indicated they were making progress.
Prosecutors said DeLay conspired with two associates, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to use his Texas-based PAC to send $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee, or RNC. The RNC then sent the same amount to seven Texas House candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can't go directly to political campaigns.
Prosecutors claim the money helped Republicans take control of the Texas House. That enabled the GOP majority to push through a Delay-engineered congressional redistricting plan that sent more Texas Republicans to Congress in 2004 – and strengthened DeLay's political power.
DeLay's attorneys argued the money swap resulted in the seven candidates getting donations from individuals, which they could legally use in Texas.
They also said DeLay only lent his name to the PAC and had little involvement in how it was run. Prosecutors, who presented mostly circumstantial evidence, didn't prove he committed a crime, they said.
DeLay contended the charges against him were a political vendetta by Ronnie Earle, the former Democratic Travis County district attorney who originally brought the case and is now retired.
Lehmberg, who replaced Earle, said the trial was not about criminalizing politics.
"This was about holding public officials accountable, that no one is above the law and all persons have to abide by the law, no matter how powerful or lofty the position he or she might hold," she said.
Craig McDonald, the director of Texans for Public Justice, a liberal watchdog group whose complaints with the Travis County District Attorney's Office helped lead to the investigation of DeLay's PAC, said he was pleased by the verdict.
"We can't undo the 2002 election, but a jury wisely acted to hold DeLay accountable for conspiring to steal it."
The 2005 criminal charges in Texas, as well as a separate federal investigation of DeLay's ties to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, ended his 22-year political career representing suburban Houston. The Justice Department probe into DeLay's ties to Abramoff ended without any charges filed against DeLay.
Ellis and Colyandro, who face lesser charges, will be tried later.
Except for a 2009 appearance on ABC's hit television show "Dancing With the Stars," DeLay has been out of the spotlight since resigning from Congress in 2006. He now runs a consulting firm based in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land.